Hi, I am a Male Brown-headed Cowbird, a member of the blackbird family. You can find me in the USA, Mexico and Canada. We inhabit near roads, barns, farms, thickets, grasslands, and forests. Several times you can find me visiting gardens in suburban areas, and even feeding on bird feeders. Males and females look different from each other. Males are larger than females. Males have a glossy, black body, and a brown head with a pointed gray beak.
Females are a dull brown and have a lightly colored streaks to their breast with a pointed gray beak. We have short, stout bills, and a stocky body with a medium long tail that we will lift when we are eating. The reason we have the word COW in our names is that we are sort of associated with cows. We collect insects that can be found near large ruminants, such a cows. Our diet consists of seeds, grains, berries, caterpillars, spiders, snails, and grasshoppers. Mating season is from March to April, and Males gather in groups or sing alone to attract the pretty females.
Males will lift their feathers on their backs and chests, and spread our tail feathers and lift our wings hoping the female will select one of us. We are brood parasites and that means that the female lays eggs inside the nests of different species of birds instead of their own nest. Females will lay 30 to 40 eggs during this nesting season and she will lay one egg per nest. The Chicks will hatch in about 14 days after being incubated by a host bird. The cowbird chicks will leave the nest within 8 to13 days.
Most other species do not even realize they are taking care of another Mama’s eggs. The only bird that recognizes the false eggs is the Yellow Warbler. They know because the eggs are smaller than her eggs, and too small to remove the eggs, so she builds another nest on top of the existing one and lays her set of eggs. If you are visiting where I inhabit, look for me and say HELLO![the_ad id="61677"]